Sunday, March 17, 2013

Celebrating Patrick's Day from 250 Miles Above Earth

It's good to see our national holiday celebrated all over the world. Whether you are celebrating the occasion in Ireland like myself, wearing green in Beijing, dying your river green in Chicago- wherever! It's always nice to see the world going green for a day!

"Wearing the green - Happy St. Patrick's Day from the International Space Station!"
However, it now seems that Paddy's Day is now being celebrated both on and off this planet!

Every year we see things like the Empire State Building, The London Eye and the White House fountain going green for Ireland. The International Space Station is no different!

Expedition 35 commander Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, and fellow astronaut Tom Marshburn have been taking to social media sites like Google+ and Twitter to share the view of our Emerald Isle from 250 miles above in Low-Earth Orbit.

Always nice to see home from space!!
Since their launch a in December, Hadfield and Marshburn have had their cameras pointed at Earth, tweeting photos of places like Mt Vesuvius, the Scottish Highlands, and now the lenses have focused in on us. One of the main reasons I was looking forward to our national holiday was because I knew the guys on the space station would more than likely snap a few photos of our island(something they had been doing in the days leading up to March 17th). Then the moment came when Hadfield tweeted:

"Maidin mhaith from the International Space Station! Happy Saint Patrick's Day to the Irish all around the globe. Good morning!"

This was followed by Hadfield showing the Irish within him as he broke out his green geansaĆ­, complemented by a dickiebow. Then the photos came!

"Tralee, Ireland, nestled in the first green we see after soaring across the Atlantic"
First up from the station's windows was a glimpse of Tralee from the heavens above! His crew mate Marshburn of NASA, who had been snapping away at Ireland for the last few days also tweeted a snow covered Waterford.

To mark the occasion further, Hadfield, a man also noted for his music skills, recorded his version of Danny Boy- "Danny Boy strikes home with me, now more than ever. I've recorded a version for today in orbit. Hope you like it!" You can hear the commander's version of the song here:

"St. Patrick's Day Finale: Dublin, with her port standing out clearly to photographers in Earth orbit"

Hadfield finished up the day and decided to call it a day when he tweeted this picture of Dublin- the clouds must have gotten the better of him!

You can see all of Chris and Tom's photos of Ireland, and of course other photos of spaceship Earth by following them on Twitter: @Cmdr_Hadfield and @AstroMarshburn

Happy St Patrick's Day! All photos credit to Chris Hadfield, Tom Marshburn, NASA